The current study explored the relationship between problem Internet use, personality, loneliness, and well-being in emerging adulthood. An online survey using questionnaires assessed 673 emerging adults (247 males and 426 females) aged between 18 and 25 years on measures of problem Internet use, personality, loneliness and well-being. Results show that problematic Internet use is directly related to emotional stability, conscientiousness, loneliness and well-being. This relationship holds which ever direction of relationship between the personality variables and problematic Internet use is posited. It is argued that understanding the risk and protective factors for problem Internet use is particularly important at this emerging adult stage where attitudes, traits and behavior are malleable. There is a need for more longitudinal data on problem Internet use in emerging adulthood in order to prevent it leading to more serious pathology.
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- problematic Internet use
- psychological well-being